Twenty-two men on a piece of open ground. One ball, one referee and his team of linesmen and assistants, and a crowd which punctuates every movement with yells, cheers, groans or songs. We all know how much pressure falls on that referee and his officials, how eagle-eyed they try to be in watching every movement in this confined space, how much the referee’s shout and whistle matters. And every football fan knows, exactly how often he can get it wrong.
On the road, people get it wrong too. Witnesses are notoriously unreliable about vehicle incidents – they misremember, they see what they expect to see. In studies, most witnesses don’t even get the colours of vehicles right. Extensive testing has shown that, even when witnesses are trying their hardest to be truthful, they are usually not very observant to begin with and their memories are easily confused or distorted.
It’s not hard to see how witnesses can get the wrong end of the stick when they see a collision or near miss. The referee has a hard enough time working out who had the ball, who touched it last, was it a hand ball? Was it deliberate? Onside or offside? Those few inches matter – but it’s not easy to know for sure.
On the road, with endless miles of traffic, and no one but the driver constantly watching your vehicle, surrounded by activity of all kinds, it’s almost impossible to reconstruct the split seconds of a near miss or collision. You don’t even have a referee to rely on if someone claims one of your trucks or vans hit their car, bike, or Chihuahua. Very often, the commercial vehicle driver is painted as the target, scape goat or underdog, despite the fact that 80% of fatal collisions between a truck and a car are caused by the motorist, not the commercial vehicle driver.
Except… the World Cup is using video-assistant referees now. Everything is filmed and can be played back instantly so, in those gnarly cases where the referee’s judgement would be a guess at best, officials can check the video and make sure the right decision is reached. For South Korea, it meant the underdogs beating the reigning champions.
That’s what the SmartDrive® video-based safety programme does for your fleet and your drivers. It watches the road for you and makes sure that in the moment of a near miss or a collision, you have it on record – who touched the ball last, so to speak. And not only do you have the video, you have our fully trained, expert assistant referees behind the scenes ready to review the video and help you call foul.
SmartDrive’s managed service programme exonerates thousands of commercial drivers every year who would otherwise be held accountable for collisions, personal injury claims or crash for cash events for which they are not to blame. It means that as fleet manager, you are no longer hoping the referee decides in your favour – you have a whole team of SmartDrive video assistants behind you, giving you the evidence you need to avoid a red card.
To date, SmartDrive has analysed 210 million videos of risky driving incidents globally, with the majority providing evidence to exonerate the driver. The SmartDrive video-based safety programme allows you to monitor driver behaviour and keep your fleet safer and more productive, while reducing costs.
In particular, its role in providing the evidence for driver exoneration can save you money quickly. Insurers can be notified faster, collisions which would otherwise have been settled can be categorised clearly as not-at-fault, and it protects your drivers’ careers, your brand and your reputation. Many of our clients tell us that they saw a clear return on investment very quickly simply through the savings they made when they were no longer picking up the tab for events in which their driver was not at fault.
One element of the referee’s job that fleet managers will sympathise with is the sheer number of decisions they have to make. According to Sky Sports, a referee makes a decision every 22 seconds, with 245 decisions made during the course of a match. Of these decisions 45 are technical, 35 involve interventions – fouls, restarts etc – and 165 are ‘invisible’ because the ref allows play to continue.
Fleet managers wrestling with operational demands and safety priorities are also constantly making decisions about routes, protocols, drivers and vehicles. When managing safety improvements, it’s easy to become overloaded while trying to review all the information available from dash cams or telematics, and inevitably as the fleet team focuses on one element – speeding, for example – other behaviours happen ‘off the ball’ and are missed.
That’s why SmartDrive’s video-based safety programme is a managed service. We understand what behaviours you want to monitor, and we do the hard work of watching for them, risk-scoring them and making you, as fleet manager, aware of the action points. With so many decisions to make and only so many hours in the day, it is crucial that fleet managers have an expert team they can trust to direct their attention to the decisions that matter. The decisions that keep your fleet safe.
- Posted by Nicola Burgess
- On July 3, 2018